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Asbestos production quantities: how much asbestos was produced? This article describes the total quantity of asbestos that was mined and shipped world-wide, listing asbestos production by quantity and giving additional detail by asbestos type.
This articles series about the manufacture & use of asbestos-containing products includes detailed information on the production methods, asbestos content, and the identity and use of asbestos-containing materials.
Asbestos Quantities Produced World-Wide in the 1950's
The method of mining, milling, and processing asbestos
depends on the type of asbestos being handled as well as
such specific physical characteristics as soft versus harsh
fiber. Since chrysotile fiber accounts for approximately 95
per cent of all the asbestos used, this discussion will pertain
to Canadian chrysotile.
Photo at left illustrates Crocidolite asbestos under the microscope, photo by Daniel Friedman while at McCrone Research Institute. [Click to enlarge any image]
For a satisfactory mining operation,
the content of fiber in the rock should range from 3 to 12 per cent.
Such variables as availability of labor, transportation facilities, and size of the deposit determine whether
or not a low asbestos content mine will be a profitable
Separately at ASBESTOS MINING & PROCESSING we describe how asbestos ores were mined & prepared for use in fabrication procedures that used asbestos fibers or other asbestos material.
Table 1.3 below gives the total world production of all types of
asbestos by countries for the year 1956.
World Production of All Types of Asbestos - by Country
Table 1.3 Approximate Percentage of Asbestos Production Figures by Country for All Types of Raw Asbestos (in short tons) for 1956
Union of South Africa
* This figure of asbestos production for Russia represents an unofficial and unverified estimate. It includes 275,000 tons of grades 7 and 8 of asbestos material.
Table 1.4 below gives similar statistics to Table 1.3 for the
amphibole fibers only.
TABLE 1.4. Production of Types of Amphibole Asbestos
(in Short Tons) for 1956
Total Asbestos Produced
Union of South Africa
50,000 short tons
Union of South Africa
73,000 short tons
Tremolite, Actinolite, Anthophyllite Asbestos
Adapted from Rosato (1959) p. 15
In Table 1.5 (below) we show how the Canadian growth of asbestos exports from
1946 to 1955 was reported.
TABLE 1.5. Annual Canadian Shipments of Chrysotile Asbestos
According to Asbestos Grade*
(2000lb tons) 1946-1955
Total Asbestos Shipped (2000 lb tons)
* Province of Quebec, Canada, "General Review of Mining Industry of the Province of Quebec in 1955." (1957)
Adapted from Rosato (1959) p. 15
Table 1.6 below gives percentages of
chrysotile world production and Canadian shipments for the
Worldwide Percentages of Chrysotile Asbestos Produced in 1954
Table 1.6. Percentages of Chrysotile Asbestos Production
Worldwide Asbestos Shipments, 1954
Percent of World Asbestos Production
Percent of Canadian Asbestos Production*
* The Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Feb. 1956
! This is not 100 percent of asbestos production because it does not include Russi8a, Communist Satellites, and some other countries
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 Asbestos, its Industrial Applications, D.V. Rosato, engineering consultant, Newton MA, Reinhold Publishing Co., NY, 1959, Library of Congress Catalog No. 59-12535. We are in process of re-publishing this interesting text. Excerpts & adaptations are found in InspectApedia.com articles on asbestos history, production & visual identification in and on buildings.
 "Asbestos in Plastic Compositions", A.B. Cummins, Modern Plastics [un-dated, pre 1952]
 "Asbestos in Your Home," Spokane County Air Pollution Control Authority, Spokane WA 509-477-4727 www.scapa.org provides a one-page image, a .pdf file drawing of a house warning of some possible sources of asbestos in the home. The sources are not ranked according to actual risk of releasing hazardous levels of airborne asbestos fibers and the list is useful but incomplete.
 The US EPA provides a sample list of asbestos containing products epa.gov/earth1r6/6pd/asbestos/asbmatl.htm
 "Characterization of asbestos exposure among
automotive mechanics servicing and handling
asbestos-containing materials", Gary Scott Dotson, University of South Florida, 1 June 2006, web search 3/9/2012 original source: scholarcommons.usf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3505&context=etd [copy on file as /hazmat/Automotive_Asbestos_Exposuret.pdf ].
 Asbestos Identification and Testing References
Asbestos Identification, Walter C.McCrone, McCrone Research Institute, Chicago, IL.1987 ISBN 0-904962-11-3. Dr. McCrone literally "wrote the book" on asbestos identification procedures which formed
the basis for current work by asbestos identification laboratories.
Stanton, .F., et al., National Bureau of Standards Special Publication 506: 143-151
Pott, F., Staub-Reinhalf Luft 38, 486-490 (1978) cited by McCrone
 Asbestos in Your Home U.S. EPA, Exposure Evaluation Division, Office of Toxic Substances, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington,D.C. 20460
 Asbestos products and their history and use in various building materials such as asphalt and vinyl flooring includes discussion which draws on Asbestos, Its Industrial Applications, D.V. Rosato, engineering consultant, Newton, MA, Reinhold Publishing, 1959 Library of Congress Catalog Card No.: 59-12535 (out of print, text and images available at InspectAPedia.com).
 "Handling Asbestos-Containing roofing material - an update", Carl Good, NRCA Associate Executive Director, Professional Roofing, February 1992, p. 38-43
 EPA Guidance for Controlling Asbestos-Containing Materials in buildings, NIAST, National Institute on Abatement Sciences & Technology, [republishing EPA public documents] 1985 ed., Exposure Evaluation Division, Office of Toxic Substances, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington,D.C. 20460 Copy on file as - /hazmat/Asbestos_in_Your_Home_US_EPA.pdf - Asbestos in Your Home - U.S. EPA, Exposure Evaluation Division, Office of Toxic Substances, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington,D.C. 20460
Basic Information about Asbestos, US EPA, web search 08/17/2010, original source: http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/help.html
"Handling Asbestos-Containing roofing material - an update", Carl Good, NRCA Associate Executive Director, Professional Roofing, February 1992, p. 38-43
EPA Guidance for Controlling Asbestos-Containing Materials in buildings, NIAST, National Institute on Abatement Sciences & Technology, [republishing EPA public documents] 1985 ed., Exposure Evaluation Division, Office of Toxic Substances, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington,D.C. 20460
Copy on file as - /hazmat/Asbestos_in_Your_Home_US_EPA.pdf - Asbestos in Your Home - U.S. EPA, Exposure Evaluation Division, Office of Toxic Substances, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington,D.C. 20460
[copy on file as /hazmat/Vermiculite_US_EPA.pdf/ Current Best Practices for Vermiculite Attic Insulation - May 2003, U.S. EPA
[copy on file as] /hazmat/Vermiculite_Health_Canada.pdf] Vermiculite Insulation Containing Amphibole Asbestos - September 2009, Health Canada
Managing Asbestos in Place, How to Develop and Maintain a Building Asbestos Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Program, U.S. EPA, web search 01/20/2011, original source: http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/management_in_place.html
Asbestos Strategies, Lessons Learned about Management and Use of Asbestos: Report of Findings and Recommendations on the Use and Management of Asbestos, 16 May 2003, US EPA, web search 01/20/2011, original source: http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/asbstrategiesrptgetf.pdf
prepared by the: Global Environment & Technology Foundation, 7010 Little River Turnpike, Suite. 460, Annandale VA 20003
Other US EPA Publications on asbestos: web search 01/20/2011, see http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/pubs.html
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
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